Sunday, May 26, 2024

Brian Hughes: Jungle Jack is Back for More at Bangor


Brian Hughes: Jungle Jack is Back for More at Bangor


Cheltenham was a great meeting, as it always is, with plenty of splendid horses on show. One negative is that some of the field sizes were very small, but that’s the nature of the softer ground and obviously, people have horses that are more suitable for the spring with better ground. There were also a lot fewer people in attendance this year, potentially because of the weather but also the pricing of tickets and the overall expense of going. I think it is positive that Cheltenham has come out since and said that the ticket prices for next year’s festival will be lower.

On a personal note, I’m very pleased with some performances recently, including a few decent victories for Micky Hammond. Micky’s horses have been in great form of late and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few winners from his team. Hopefully that continues.

Saturday at Bangor-on-Dee:

Jungle Jack (1:30 pm) on Saturday is one I quite like the chances of. He won this race last year, off 4 lbs lower, so I’m hoping for a similar story. Jungle Jack is in brilliant form as of late and will handle the ground fine. He’s back over hurdles again, having only been beaten by a neck last time. He just got a bit tired from the back of the last and got chinned by Cracking Rhapsody, who has gone on to win the Morebattle, so the form looks strong.

Up next, I am back on Professor Klump (2:00 pm). He got his stuff together after a couple of runs in maidens and has eventually got his head in front at Carlisle. It seemed to suit him well there, and the ground shouldn’t bother him again. Hopefully, he can run well off of a mark of 101.

Dragon Rock (2:30 pm) is one I have for Shark Hanlon; he’s coming across from Ireland. I rode this lad first time over fences round here and he finished second on quick ground. I think that the softer ground will help him a bit better. He’s been a winner over fences in Ireland since then, so I am very hopeful of a good run.

I then have Grain d’Oudairies (3:05 pm), who is a winner round this course over hurdles, but this time we are chasing. He has also had one run over fences at Ayr over 2 ½ miles, but I think this will suit. I’m sure we will have more positive tactics on Saturday given we’re dropping back in trip.

Grand Albert (3:40 pm) has a good chance. He is unlucky not to have already won this season, as I think we probably should have beaten Guard The Moon in a bumper round this same course. Last time, it was a slowly run race with a sprint finish which didn’t suit him. He is more of a staying type, so I’d like to think we can reverse the form now we are off the same terms.

My final ride on the card is Jalisco Star (4:15 pm) who I don’t know too much about. I’ve never ridden for the trainer (Laura Horsfall) but the horse looks like he handles the ground. He seems to be running moderately overstaying trips. It’s always nice to have runners for new connections, so I am looking forward to it.

Sunday at Ascot:

I only have one ride at Ascot on Sunday in the form of Malystic (3:20 pm). Hopefully, he can put up a run of decent quality, as he is in good form. I schooled him on Wednesday and he felt really well. Hopefully, he will make the long journey to Ascot worthwhile for me and all my connections.